NEW DELHI: India’s World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh on Wednesday vowed to return to cricket after recovering from a cancerous tumour, but was unable to set a timeline for his comeback.
“I want to see the Team India logo on my cap again,” Yuvraj, 30, told a media conference after his return from the United States where he underwent chemotherapy treatment for a rare germ-cell tumour between his lungs.
“It will be a big achievement if I can play for India again. But it won’t be easy and will take time. I can’t say when I will return to the field.
“At this stage, it is more important for me to focus on my priority, and that is to get fit and stay healthy. But I am positive that I will play cricket again.”
Yuvraj, a left-handed all-rounder who was named the man of the tournament after India’s World Cup triumph in April last year, said he found it tough to watch cricket on TV during his treatment.
“I tried not to watch,” he said. “It was so frustrating to sit before the TV and watch India play. It was painful to see that I was not on the field.
“But my family and friends helped me overcome what has been most difficult period of my life. It was so hard to believe that I had cancer, that an athlete like me could have cancer.
“I felt breathless and even spat blood sometimes. But I thought it will go away. It really hit me hard when I was told that I was suffering from cancer.”
Thousands of well-wishers, politicians, team-mates and other sports personalities, including US cycling great Lance Armstrong, had sent messages of support to Yuvraj during his treatment.
“People like Armstrong are such an inspiration,” Yuvraj said of the cyclist who overcame testicular cancer to win the Tour de France seven times.
Delhi-based oncologist Nitesh Rohatgi, who was part of the medical team treating Yuvraj, said the chemotherapy treatment had been successful and there was only a “3-4 percent” chance of a relapse.
“I can confirm the response from the chemotherapy has been very good,” Rohatgi said at the same media conference. “He should be able to do light training in a few weeks.
“A lot will depend on his physical and mental strength if he is to make a serious comeback.”
Yuvraj, known for his hard and clean hitting and tidy spin bowling, scored 362 runs and bagged 15 wickets in nine World Cup matches to play a key role in India’s triumph at the event.
The all-rounder has not played competitive cricket since taking part in two home Tests against the West Indies in November.
Yuvraj has scored 8,051 runs in 274 one-dayers and 1,775 in 37 Tests since making his international debut in 2000.